Jump to content

Failure to plan : Lexington, last minute suggestions?

This topic has been inactive for at least 365 days, and is now closed. Please feel free to start a new thread on the subject! 

Recommended Posts

Have known about this for a year, but hesitated on making any plans. Will be in Lexington Wednesday to Sunday, arriving late, leaving early. I've never been to Kentucky.

Not sure what I want to get out of a tour... maybe knowledge of the different coopers...

Should have checked in with ADI but didn't even know about the conference being last week until I texted a friend at a Distillery I used to intern at the week before. Staying two weeks wasn't really an option, my way is paid for because it ties into an philosophy conference and frequent flyer miles.

I've spent my share of time interning for a well known distillery everyone here has heard of. Have drawn hundreds of barrel samples, stirred and been scalded with hot corn back when they were using a hand held Dewalt drill many, many times. Cleaned slop, worked in the home-brew industry for many many years and started brewing over 27 years ago, wrote my first brewing business plan around 1990.

My point is I'm worried about signing up for a tour and the highlight being seeing what appears to me as a continuous production facility which more resembles an oil refinery in Texas City than a pot still I've worked with in the past. I've worked with plated stills at another place, but wan't impressed with the product. That or the other highlight being a "barrel sample". It's damn hard work moving barrels to get to the one that needs a sample taken from it. Either it was a coincidence it they were always at the bottom of the stack of barrels or I was being made to work extra hard for the hell of it. Just stating I'm not going to be thrilled by a barrel sample as the highlight of a tour.

Am I coming across as a snob? I would hope not, just stating I have done a lot of the manual labor and put my time in.

Just drove to Houston to visit the family and stopped by the downtown big store as usual where I picked up some Weller 12 just because they had it and it's a good deal, drinking an Eagle Rare as I write because my wife is a fan and passed up on the Beam Bonded simply because I'm going to Kentucky this week and need to save some money. I prefer more rye in general but too may other factors to simplify it like that. I usually spend more for a bottle, but not all the time.

I have an invite to the Thoroughbred Club one day, but that's it as far as plans for this trip go. Let me know what type of tour is recommended. Like I said, I failed to plan and the time to take whatever action I still can is here.

Bottle shops, liquor stores, tours?


Link to comment
Share on other sites

I don't even know how to begin to research what to do with the Keeneland spring meet. Not so much into horses but will try to do as the locals with an emphasis on putting together a case to bring back.

Again, I didn't intent to come across as a snob. I've simply done the work before and know more about how a distillery runs than the average person. It doesn't mean there isn't more to learn.

Looking at the tours offered at BT, I'm inclined to do the one on barrels. I have the hardback of their research in the International Barrel Symposium and am happy to disagree with some of it but am not going to pretend I know more about it than they do.

I haven't scheduled anything with 4R but look forward to the gift shop.

Anything else recommended?

Best way to get around the area? I would prefer not to drive. How to get to the local distilleries on Thursday / Friday?

Anyone else going to be in the area Thurs / Fri?

Link to comment
Share on other sites

I'd recommend a car, especially if you are planning on driving to Frankfort and Lawrenceburg. Keeneland is only 10 minutes (give or take) from downtown, so you could easily taxi or public transit over there and back from downtown. Keeneland is pretty easy and laid back. More social than anything, but it's always a fun place to enjoy good food and drink whether you care for the ponies or not. I think general admission is now up to a whopping $5 and parking is free. It doesn't get much better than that!

If staying downtown, there are plenty of good food and drink options available in the area. I'd recommend W Sixth Brewery and the Bluegrass Tavern for a quick drink and maybe a light appetizer. W Sixth is in a nice upcoming area of N Jefferson (they are at the intersection of Jefferson and 6th) that is in the middle of a revitalization with many new pubs, restaurants and what not. Bluegrass Tavern is in the heart of downtown, surrounded by many other fine drink and food establishments to further distract you.

Hope this helps a little, and I hope you have a great visit.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

I am not into horse racing per se, but I LOVE Keeneland. It is a cultural experience worth participating in. Men in linen suits and seersucker suits, woman in dresses with special hats. It almost takes you back to a different era. (You're fine if you don't dress that way). It's a legit Kentucky experience that pairs exceptionally well with bourbon.

As Paddy said, if heading out to the distilleries, you definitely need a car.

If you don't want to see the mega distillery tour that resembles a refinery, than you should go to Willett. Very small and cozy there.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

  • 4 weeks later...

I've did the Jim Beam, Wild Turkey, Maker's Mark, Brown-Forman and Evan Williams tours in 2011. These offer very basic information about distilling and normally include a look inside a rickhouse and a look at the stills. Even though the tours are very similar, I thought each of the tours was interesting in its own way.

Given your explanation above, however, I'm not sure that you would find these very interesting. Of the five tours I listed above, I remember Maker's Mark being the least like a "continuous production distillery." I did these tours in 2011 so things may have changed as bourbon has become more and more popular.

I'll also echo the other comments: you will need to rent a car to get around to these distilleries.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

  • Create New...

Important Information

By using this site, you agree to our Terms of Use.